United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. Navarro, United States District Judge.
before the Court are Plaintiff Nike, Inc.'s
(“Plaintiff's”) Motion for Attorneys'
Fees, (ECF No. 40), and Motion for Leave to File under Seal,
(ECF No. 41). Defendants did not file responses. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS in
part and DENIES in part
Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys' Fees, and
GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to
File under Seal.
case concerns Defendants' infringement of various design
patents and trademark rights owned by Plaintiff. (Compl.
¶¶ 5-67, ECF No. 1). During litigation, Plaintiff
secured a temporary restraining order, seizure order, and
preliminary injunction against Defendants. (Temporary
Restraining Order, ECF No. 10); (Preliminary Injunction, ECF
No. 23). At every turn, Defendants failed to appear and
defend. Accordingly, Plaintiff eventually secured a default
judgment against Defendants. (Default Judgment, ECF No. 37).
now moves for an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to 35
U.S.C. § 285 and 15 U.S.C. § 1117 based on
Defendants' willful infringement of Plaintiff's
intellectual property rights. (Mot. Attorneys' Fees
¶¶ 2, 7-8, ECF No. 40). Plaintiff also seeks to
seal certain documents related to negotiated billing rates
with its attorneys. (Mot. Seal 2:2-3, ECF No. 41).
Motion for Attorneys' Fees
seeks an award of $78, 608.00 in attorneys' fees for time
spent litigating this case. To support the award, Plaintiff
submits an itemized time sheet showing hours billed with a
short description of the work performed for each billing
entry. Plaintiff also submits a declaration from counsel Kurt
C. Riester, who is an attorney with the law firm of Banner
& Witcoff, Ltd., explaining the expertise required to
prosecute this case, the experience and reputation of
Plaintiff's counsel, and the actions taken to achieve
successful results. (Decl. Kurt C. Riester ¶¶ 5, 7,
10, 14, ECF No. 42).
determining the reasonableness of an hourly rate, courts
consider the experience, skill, and reputation of the
attorney requesting fees. See, e.g., Chalmers v.
City of Los Angeles, 796 F.2d 1205, 1210 (9th Cir.
1986). A reasonable hourly rate should reflect the prevailing
market rates of attorneys practicing in the forum community.
Id.; see also Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S.
886, 895-96 n.11 (1984). Further, courts use a
“lodestar figure” to analyze the reasonableness
of fees. Fischer v. SJB-P.D. Inc., 214 F.3d 1115,
1119 (9th Cir. 2000). A court arrives at the lodestar figure
by multiplying “the number of hours reasonably expended
on the litigation” by “a reasonable hourly
outset here, the hourly rates charged by Plaintiff's
attorneys fall within a range routinely approved in this
District. See, e.g., Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC
v. Encore Sports Lounge, No.
2:14-cv-1710-JAD-CWH, 2016 WL 4060305, at *1 (D. Nev. July
28, 2016). In comparison to other decisions in this District,
the total fees and hours billed generally resemble those in
other cases which involved similar claims. Cf.
Bird-B-Gone, Inc. v. Haierc Industry Co., Ltd., 2018 WL
4682320, at *5 (D. Nev. 2018) (awarding $61, 406.73 in a
patent-infringement suit resolved by default judgment and not
involving motion practice on a temporary restraining order);
Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC v. Encore Sports Lounge,
2016 WL 4060305, at *2 (D. Nev. 2016) (awarding
attorneys' fees of $20, 234.40 in a
trademark-infringement suit resolved by default judgment and
with filings of only the complaint, motion of entry of
clerk's default, motion for default judgment, and motion
for attorneys' fees).
several of Plaintiff's billing entries pose concerns
about reasonableness. For instance, multiple entries
amounting to 7.7 hours concern a Motion for Entry of
Clerk's Default. (Attorneys' Fees and Costs for
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. at 10-11, Ex. 1 to Mot.
Attorneys' Fees, ECF No. 42-1) (concerning time entries
of 4.9 and 0.8 hours on April 28, 2017; 0.7 hours on May 4,
2017; and 1.3 hours on June 19, 2018). The final Motion
consisted of one page of substantive discussion (four
sentences of argument) and a proposed order taken from the
Court's website. (Mot. Entry of Clerk's Default, ECF
No. 27). Further, the billing descriptions for these entries
lump together separate activities, including time spent
working on other motions. (See Attorneys' Fees
and Costs for Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. at 11, Ex. 1 to Mot.
Attorneys' Fees). The Court thus cannot properly evaluate
the precise time spent on just the Motion for Entry of
Clerk's Default; and anywhere near 7.7 hours is not
reasonable for the submitted Motion. A reduction of 20% from the
billed amount is suitable for entries relating to the Motion
for Entry of Clerk's Default. See Nat'l Council
of La Raza v. Cegavske, No. 3:12- cv-00316-MMD-VPC, 2017
WL 2683683, at *5 (D. Nev. June 21, 2017) (reducing specific
entries by 20% based on a billing method that left the court
unable to determine the reasonableness of time expended).
next concerning entry occurred on March 1, 2017, where an
attorney spent 4.4 hours analyzing “transcripts from
prior [preliminary injunction] hearings before Judge
Navarro” to prepare for the preliminary injunction
hearing occurring two days later. (See Attorneys'
Fees and Costs for Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. at 9, Ex. 1 to
Mot. Attorneys' Fees). Plaintiff's billing entries do
not explain how these transcripts related to similar cases.
Further, Plaintiff had already secured a temporary
restraining order, and the analysis of transcripts came after
Plaintiff's team of attorneys already spent many hours
discussing strategies on presenting evidence and argument at
the preliminary injunction hearing. (Temporary Restraining
Order, ECF No. 10) (granted on February 22, 2017). The actual
preliminary injunction hearing took only six minutes. (Min.
Proceedings, ECF No. 22). While the Court appreciates
preparedness and recognizes that an attorney cannot guess the
duration of a hearing, 4.4 hours would not be reasonable
under the circumstances here. One hour is a reasonable amount
of time spent reviewing transcripts in other cases for the
unopposed hearing that occurred here.
after considering analogous decisions in this District, the
complex nature of trademark and patent infringement cases,
and the quality of work submitted in this matter earning
Plaintiff's requested relief, the Court finds that most
of the hours spent by Plaintiff's attorneys were
reasonable (e.g., those spent securing a temporary
restraining order, evaluating infringing products for
seizure, indexing inventories of seized products, and
securing a preliminary injunction and default judgment).
Accordingly, while the Court reduces the specific fees
discussed above, it grants Plaintiff an award of
attorneys' fees amounting to $76, 871.20.